Manchester United

Manchester United closing in on first signing, more important than Darwin Nunez

A mixed 24 hours for Manchester United looks like it could see the club miss out on one transfer target and move closer to signing another.

The possibility to sign Darwin Nunez appears to be slipping from United’s grasp. The Athletic report rivals Liverpool are pushing ahead with a move ‘and there’s a growing belief that a deal will be done.’

Meanwhile Frenkie de Jong’s transfer to Manchester United is edging nearer, with Marca reporting the Red Devils’ first offer of £51 million plus £17 million in add-ons has been submitted, and Barcelona are ‘seriously’ considering the bid.

The De Jong news is a positive step, with United closing on on the club’s first signing of the summer.

More important than missing out on Nunez

De Jong is going to cost Manchester United up to £68 million in total. The club then can’t go out and spend £80 million on Darwin Nunez. It’s not the summer to to that.

United have had to make a choice, what is more important, a midfielder or a striker, and cut their cloth accordingly.

While it’s always great to go and spend £80 million on a striker, this is the type of move you make when putting the icing on the cake of your project, as Liverpool are, or from a position of strength.

This is not the type of move you make when trying to build a project from scratch.

Nunez offers no guarantees despite his wonderful strike rate last season. He has never played in a top five European league. For a well-gelled team like Liverpool he should do just fine, but for a disjointed Manchester United, he perhaps was not the cornerstone of the project we needed.

Frenkie de Jong fills a position Manchester United need, desperately. The Red Devils’ midfield is lacking in depth and quality, and the Dutchman will change the way we play, for the better.

There will be no more possession-shy midfield performances, with players scared to get on the ball and retain it. De Jong is a master of his craft, and proven in Erik ten Hag’s system.

He already has an established connection with Donny van de Beek, which can help revive his fortunes, and together, the pair can help establish Ten Hag’s way of playing.

De Jong may not be the only midfielder United sign either, the club surely need two, but he will be the most important addition.

There is no point in signing Darwin Nunez if there is a barren, sub-standard midfield behind him. United can sign another striker or attacking player, for far cheaper, who can help support Cristiano Ronaldo.

Adding De Jong is a pivotal part of United’s rebuild, and more important than missing out on Nunez. Now it is crucial Erik ten Hag works his charm, and gets the deal for the Dutchman over the line.


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